MINOT, N.D. — North Dakotans have made it clear, with their votes, they don’t want smoking in public or even on private property that is open to the public.
(The latter is a deep affront to the sacred notion of property rights, but, alas, that battle is lost.)
But voters here have also made it clear that they don’t exactly share the blind hatred of smokers and the tobacco industry that some public health activists espouse. A 2016 measure representing a massive tax hike on tobacco products went down in flames.
Into that context comes a debate over private hospitality establishments that would specifically cater to tobacco users. House Bill 1152, introduced by Rep. Dan Ruby, R-Minot, would create an allowance for so-called “cigar bars” in state law.